Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough makes a light and crusty pizza crust for your favorite pizza toppings. If you have sourdough starter and feed it regularly, you will be left with “sourdough discard,” which is basically just sourdough starter that you have chosen not to keep feeding. Instead of throwing it out, I use the “sourdough discard” in pizza dough or other bread recipes. After all, it’s just flour and water, so can be used to supplement any bread recipe you make.
I’ve been making Crusty Sourdough Bread once a week, and feeding my sourdough starter once a week (I keep it in the refrigerator). Friday nights have become pizza night, and I’ve been using the sourdough discard in my pizza dough.
This pizza dough requires just a few ingredients – flour, salt, yeast, sourdough discard, and water.
First, I put all the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.
Then, add the sourdough starter, water and olive oil.
Process until dough sticks together. I like mine a little bit soft for a tender interior pizza crust.
Transfer dough to a bowl and cover. Let the pizza dough proof at room temperature for one hour.
This is what my dough looked like after one hour.
Next, use your fingertips to press pizza dough onto a sheet pan or into a cast iron skillet.
Let the dough rise another hour while the oven is preheating.
I press the dough down with my fingers while I prepare the toppings.
Add your favorite pizza toppings (see below for how I build my pizza to ensure a crusty pizza).
We have vegetable lovers and meat lovers in our household, so use your imagination. Leftover bits and pieces of vegetables and proteins make great pizza toppings.
For vegetarians or veggie-lovers – top is blanched fresh tomatoes, pesto and fresh mozzarella; bottom is broccoli, red bell peppers, onions and garlic.
For meat lovers – chicken sausage, turkey pepperoni, red bell peppers, onion and garlic.
The sheet pan pizza crust came out nice and crusty.
If you like deep dish pizza, try making the pizza in a cast iron skillet (I used a 12″ cast iron skillet for half of the pizza dough recipe).
Building A Crusty Pizza:
The order in which you layer the pizza toppings is important to ensuring a crusty pizza instead of a soggy one.
Once your pizza dough is ready to be topped, I like to layer on the ingredients in this order:
- Sprinkle dough with Parmesan cheese
- Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (or if you’re making Margherita pizza, place slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on top)
- Arrange dryer ingredients next (e.g., proteins – this will also keep them from drying out), followed by wetter ingredients
- If you’re using marinara or pizza sauce, dollop some on top
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
Look in your refrigerator for any leftover bits and pieces of vegetables and proteins. Almost anything can be used as a pizza topping.
Here are some vegetarian ideas:
- Broccoli (blanched)
- Bell peppers (fresh or roasted)
- Fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, or boxed/canned tomatoes (drained and patted dry)
- Spinach or other leafy greens (blanch tougher varieties)
- Brussels sprouts (shredded or leftover cooked brussels sprouts)
- Roasted eggplant
- Artichoke hearts
- Onions, leeks or scallions
- Fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers
Here are some protein ideas:
- Leftover grilled chicken
- Leftover taco meat
- Leftover meatballs (quartered or halved)
- Chopped clams
- Chicken sausage
- Turkey pepperoni
Baking a Crusty Pizza:
- Preheat your oven to a high temperature (I set mine at 450 degrees)
- Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the baking sheet or cast iron skillet (if using); flip dough over so both sides are coated with some olive oil (this helps keep the dough from getting soggy)
- Bake pizza on lowest oven rack for the majority of the baking time. Then move the pizza to the top rack to brown the top.
Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
This recipe is a great way to use up sourdough discard
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sourdough starter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
Place flour, sugar, yeast and salt in food processor bowl. Pulse until combined.
Add sourdough starter to bowl. Place cover on food processor.
With food processor running, add water and olive oil. Process until dough comes together.
Remove dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Sprinkle with a little flour and cover with clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Let dough sit at room temperature and rise for 1 hour.
Divide dough in half and cover with clean paper towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rise another 10 minutes.
To Make Pizza
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place half of dough on lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with other half or store in refrigerator for later use. Alternatively, for deep dish pizza, oil a cast iron skillet and place half of dough in skillet.
Using fingers, press dough into desired shape. If using cast iron skillet, press dough to edges. Flip dough to coat other side with oil. Cover with clean paper towel or plastic wrap. Let rest for 1 hour.
Using fingers, gently press dough down and let sit while preparing toppings.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of dough. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Distribute your favorite toppings on top. Dollop some marinara or pizza sauce on top. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Margherita Pesto Pizza
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of dough. Place slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on top. Place slices of fresh tomato on top of mozzarella cheese slices. Dollop pesto around mozzarella pieces. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Place pizza on bottom rack of oven. If making two pizzas, place on on bottom rack, and the other on the top rack. Bake for 18 minutes. Switch pizza positions, moving the bottom pizza to the top rack and the top pizza to the bottom rack. Bake another 7 minutes until bottom is crusty and top is bubbly and melted.
Adapted from Bobby Flay.
This recipe is flexible. Sourdough starter is equal parts (by weight) water and flour. Generally, I reduce the amount of water in the recipe by the amount of water in the sourdough discard I'm using.
For more sourdough “discard” recipes, check out King Arthur’s sourdough discard recipes.